SIX DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS
LUNCH FOR 6 PEOPLE – ½ KG MUSSELS PER PERSON
Some folk are daunted by serving mussels at home, but if you have access to fresh mussels (frozen are horrible ... don't even go there) then I can't think of an easier way to make a really special but casual lunch. I get mine from the Gordon's Bay Fisheries and they are bullet proof (cleaned – you can do this at home or ask the fish shop to do it for you – discard all cracked ones).
Served with Iona Sauvignon Blanc and some crusty bread this is Christmas holidays in a bowl.
2 medium onions finely diced
2 sticks of celery finely sliced
2 carrots finely diced
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 big bunch of parsley finely chopped (plus extra for serving)
2 cups of proper chicken stock
2 cups of Iona Sauvignon Blanc
1 cup pouring cream (you can use less if you prefer)
Melt butter in a large heavy based pot which is ultimately big enough to fit all the mussels into.
Add diced onion, carrot and celery and garlic and sauté over gentle heat. Allow to soften without browning.
Add parsley and stock and wine and simmer for 10 minutes and then set aside till needed.
When you're ready to cook the mussels, bring the broth to the boil and add mussels. Put a lid on and allow to steam until the mussels have opened. This should take about 5 minutes.
Stir in the cream and divide the mussels into 6 heated bowels.
Ladle over the broth and sprinkle over some more fresh chopped parsley.
Serve with crusty French loaves and lots of butter. Drink the rest of the Sauvignon Blanc used for the broth and then open another bottle ...
For an Asian twist substitute the cup of cream with a tin of coconut milk and a tablespoon of green curry paste. Add to broth at the point where you simmer it for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to blend. Garnish with fresh coriander instead.